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Commercial Real Estate Investment/Tenants right to floating flooring

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Hi Carl,

I have a strange situation.
Basically, we moved into our second shop about 1.5 years ago. Everything was great. We were told we had at least 5 years there. This is when a lawyer would have been a good idea, but alas, live and learn. We were on a periodic lease. They owners decided to sell the shop to developers and we were out.

When we moved in, the shop was very basic. And old free stander with old, timber floors (not in terrible condition, but they didn't suit the look of our shop - they were very dark and our shops has light, 'beachy' looking shop fittings). So we laid floating laminate flooring.

We have obviously had to move and would like to use the flooring at our new shop. It's an expensive high quality laminate, it's worth moving after a year. However the new owner of the shop is adamant that he bought the flooring along with the shop. But the way I see it, that's really not my problem. I have been quite reasonable and offered to sell him the flooring at product cost (not including the cost of install that was about $1500) but he won't pay it. So I have told him we will be removing our flooring and restoring the shop to the condition it was in when we moved in.

The way I see it, the flooring is not a fixture. It's floating. It is not held down by glue or nails etc. It has not in any way damaged the original timber floor. And regardless of that, we had it installed and our lease basically says when we leave the shop to leave it in the same condition it was in when we moved in.

My lease finishes on the 15th. I have told the owner I will be removing my flooring. But he has told me if I attempt to removed the flooring he will involve the police. It seems crazy to me.
Do I have the right to take my flooring?

Thanks very much!
Michelle

Answer
Michelle:

I apologize for the late response. Your situation is very common and regrettably it is a legal one outside the scope of my industry guidance. Typically, as a practical matter, the lease document would/should address this situation, in the absence of that, the laws of your jurisdiction will be the guiding force in the absence of mutual resolution between you and the new owner. Good luck!

Carl

Commercial Real Estate Investment

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Carl Quesinberry

Expertise

Extensive experience in Tenant Representation, Site Selection, Lease Negotiations, Economic Incentives, Investment Analysis, Apartments, Industrial Real Estate, Manufacturing, Warehosuing, Distribution, Development, Market Analysis, Feasibility Studies. Airport Real Estate, Airport Property Leasing, Hangar Development, FAA Fair Market Value Doctrine

Experience

27 years exclusive to commercial real estate and corporate advisory services

Publications
Supply Chain Management

Education/Credentials
BSBA in Finance, University of Central Florida MSA in Acquisition and Contract Administration, University of West Florida PhD candidate, Economic Development, University of Southern Mississippi

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